Archive for November, 2012

Without Comment: Pakistan general warns civilians not to ‘assume more than one’s due role’

November 6, 2012 1 comment

The Army that ‘owns’ Pakistan has to be weaned away from believing that Pakistan is their fiefdom.

The Tragedy In Pakistan  |  by Zahoor (August 2011). – The Express Tribune

The Tragedy In Pakistan | by Zahoor (August 2011). – The Express Tribune

Pakistan’s powerful military on Monday issued what analysts said was a warning to the country’s civilian institutions not to push their authority too far, after the country’s high court issued a series of rulings holding the armed forces to account for human rights abuses and political meddling.

Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of army staff, issued the warning in a statement that also seemed to be aimed at the government and the news media.

“As a nation, we are passing through a defining phase,” Kayani said. “Weakening of the institutions and trying to assume more than one’s due role will set us back.”

The current civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari has been in power since 2008, when military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf handed authority to it.

The transition from military to civilian rule has not been smooth, with the government, the judiciary and the military all jockeying for the levers of power under the new democratic setup. In particular, the judiciary, led by activist Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, has challenged the authority of both the government and the military and aggressively tried to hold them to account.

Elections are due in the first half of next year, which could see an unprecedented transition of power from one elected government to another.

In a country where the military previously has claimed the right solely to determine the “national interest,” analysts here were unanimous in their assessment that Kayani’s statement, issued by the army’s public relations arm in English and Urdu, the national language, was highly significant, even if its language was indirect and oblique.

“No individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong in defining the ultimate national interest. It should emerge only through a consensus,” said the general, whose term in office ends in November 2013. “Any effort which wittingly or unwittingly draws a wedge between the people and armed forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest.”

Last month, the Supreme Court issued a withering judgment on the “illegal” role played in the 1990 elections by the army chief and the head of the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency at the time, who had helped form a political coalition that won that election. The court ruled that the two retired generals must be prosecuted.

In recent hearings on hundreds of citizens who have disappeared into the presumed hands of the armed forces and their spy agencies, the court has humiliated the military, hearing evidence that it was behind the abductions and subsequent extrajudicial killings.

Coincidently (sic), the chief justice also made a speech Monday in which he said that Pakistan was evolving. “Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks as a manifestation of hard power available,” Chaudhry said.

via Pakistan general warns civilians not to ‘assume more than one’s due role’ | McClatchy – Some links supplied.

Development of Mach 7 Missiles: Russia & India Announce Progress

November 5, 2012 1 comment

The fact that US or NATO have no counter or no competition to Brahmos, is rarely admitted or accepted.

Free Media of the Free World

Will ‘Free Media’ of the West tells its readers, low-and-dirty facts? Not if it matters.

Sometime back, we had the case where even the venerable, took pre-clearance from CIA before publishing a critique on POTUS.

Or take another instance.

No Counter or Competition

The respected magazine spins a long story, without ever the reader being told that US or NATO do not have missile that can compete or counter the Brahmos missile.

Though it must be said, that the short-range Brahmos is a purely defensive weapon – invaluable to India and poses no threat to the US or NATO.

The Brahmos missile was half-developed by Russia (as Onyx) – and Indian defence technologists have made it further into a air-sea-land missile, with superior guidance and firing systems.

And now

Russia and India are already testing a new supersonic cruise missile, which is pretty cool, we guess. But going Mach 2 or thereabouts isn’t all that fast these days. Everything has to go faster. That’s why the two countries are also developing a hypersonic missile capable of traveling more than five times the speed of sound. Problem is even building the engines, let alone missiles, is extremely hard to do.

If it works, the missile — called the BrahMos 2 — is expected to travel up to Mach 7 from sea-, land- and air-launched platforms. And it’s supposed to be ready for flight tests in 2017

Sivathanu Pillai, CEO of India-based BraHmos Aerospace said in Moscow on Wednesday. Pillai also suggested the missile already exists, and that BrahMos has conducted ”lab tests [of the missile] at the speed of 6.5 Mach.”

It will be interesting to see the extent to which Brahmos 2 might draw on previous Russian hypersonic research and development.”

There’s the sheer heat generated by traveling at such speeds. And getting a scramjet into missile-form is even harder. You’d need sophisticated guidance tools, sensors and navigation equipment to keep it in the air and to its target, while also making it small enough to launch from a conventional aircraft. And you still have to solve the propulsion problems.

Just ask the Pentagon. Its experimental pizza-shaped hypersonic weapon capsule, Falcon, failed its test in August before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. The Air Force’s scramjet — the X-51 WaveRider – has a better record, but was bruised by a test last summer when its engine failed. The Air Force is pressing on, however, with a new hypersonic missile for its stealth fighters. The Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon has also been successfully tested, but it’s nowhere close to a deployable weapon.

Hypersonic and scramjet research in the United States also goes back to the early days of the Cold War. But it wasn’t until 1991 when Russia became the first country to successfully test a scramjet. More tests followed, and with the help of NASA, Russia successfully flew a hydrogen-fueled scramjet at up to Mach 6.4 over Kazakhstan in 1998. In 2001, U.S. defense analysts took notice of a mysterious ultra-high-speed Russian missile test suspected of being powered by a scramjet. The first successful solo American scramjet tests didn’t occur until the 2000s, though they were some of the first tests to use engines that operated entirely as scramjets. The earlier Russian tests were hybrid ramjets — slightly different, with oxygen only moving at subsonic speeds inside the engine.

Also, don’t think it’s a coincidence that Russia now wants a hypersonic missile of its own. Nor are cruise missiles the only area where Russia is afraid of falling behind even more than they already are.

via Russia Preps Mach 7 Missiles — With India’s Help | Danger Room |

Now the supersonic missile will be upgraded to a hypersonic bolt.

Categories: Europe, India, Politics, USA Tags: , ,

Population Control in China: Govt. Think-tank Calls For Immediate End To One-child Policy

November 3, 2012 1 comment

For four years now, various Chinese groups and publications, have proposed abolition of China’s one-child policy. For the Chinese State, population control cannot be a subordinate policy.


A caricature of China's one-child policy. Creative credits not available.

A caricature of China’s one-child policy. Creative credits not available.

While the Indian Government by blaming Indian society or female feticide, think-tanks backed by Chinese Government have clearly and squarely blamed the faulty intervention of the State into family lives.

This population planning policies were implemented in India and China under pressure of World Bank, IMF, USAID etc. Western aid was clearly and explicitly tied to family planning targets.

The real impact of birth control. Image source & courtesy -

The real impact of birth control. Image source & courtesy –

Though the government credits the policy with preventing hundreds of millions of births and helping lift countless families out of poverty, it is reviled by many ordinary people. The strict limits have led to forced abortions and sterilizations, even though such measures are illegal. Couples who flout the rules face hefty fines, seizure of their property and loss of their jobs.

Many demographers argue that the policy has worsened the country’s aging crisis by limiting the size of the young labor pool that must support the large baby boom generation as it retires. They say it has contributed to the imbalanced sex ratio by encouraging families to abort baby girls, preferring to try for a male heir.

The government recognizes those problems and has tried to address them by boosting social services for the elderly. It has also banned sex-selective abortion and rewarded rural families whose only child is a girl.

Many today also see the birth limits as outdated, a relic of the era when housing, jobs and food were provided by the state.

via Chinese think tank urges end to one-child policy.

Graphic source & courtesy -

Graphic source & courtesy –

Chairman Mao in China and Sanjay Gandhi in India were some of the people who were convinced on the ‘merits’ of this State intervention in family life.

A Chinese government think tank is urging the country’s leaders to start phasing out its one-child policy immediately and allow two children for every family by 2015, a daring proposal to do away with the unpopular policy.

Some demographers see the timeline put forward by the China Development Research Foundation as a bold move by the body, which is close to the central leadership. Others warn that the gradual approach, if implemented, would still be insufficient to help correct the problems that China’s strict birth limits have created.

Xinhua news agency said the foundation recommended a two-child policy in some provinces from this year and a nationwide two-child policy by 2015. It proposes all birth limits be dropped by 2020, Xinhua reported.

“China has paid a huge political and social cost for the policy, as it has resulted in social conflict, high administrative costs and led indirectly to a long-term gender imbalance at birth,” Xinhua said, citing the report.

However, it remains unclear whether Chinese leaders are ready to take up the recommendations. China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission had no immediate comment.

Known to many as the “one-child policy,” China’s actual rules are more complicated. The government limits most urban couples to one child and allows two children for rural families if their first-born is a girl. There are numerous other exceptions as well.

via Chinese government think tank calls for immediate end to one-child policy – Taipei Times.

China's population is reducing with lesser births than deaths. This trend will soon mean that fewer workers will pay more taxes and take care of more elderly than ever before.  GDP on horizontal scale and fertility on vertical axis. Graphic credits not available.

China’s population is reducing with lesser births than deaths. This trend will soon mean that fewer workers will pay more taxes and take care of more elderly than ever before. GDP on horizontal scale and fertility on vertical axis. Graphic credits not available.

More recently the Chinese Government has linked climate change with population control – which further led to development of the Carnegie Institute to label Genghis Khan’s massacres as acts of benevolence.

According to Zhao Baige, vice-minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission of China (NPFPC), as a result of the family planning policy, China has seen 400 million fewer births, which has resulted in 18 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions a year, Zhao said.

The UN report projected that if the global population would remain 8 billion by the year 2050 instead of a little more than 9 billion according to medium-growth scenario, “it might result in 1 billion to 2 billion fewer tons of carbon emissions”.

Meanwhile, she said studies have also shown that family planning programs are more efficient in helping cut emissions, citing research by Thomas Wire of London School of Economics that states: “Each $7 spent on basic family planning would reduce CO2 emissions by more than one ton” whereas it would cost $13 for reduced deforestation, $24 to use wind technology, $51 for solar power, $93 for introducing hybrid cars and $131 electric vehicles.

She admitted that China’s population program is not without consequences, as the country is entering the aging society fast and facing the problem of gender imbalance.

She said some 85 percent of the Chinese women in reproductive age use contraceptives, the highest rate in the world. This has been achieved largely through education and improvement of people’s lives, she said.

via Population control called key to deal.

If the planet is your concern, abortion comes later. Before that you are a part of the excess population. Kill yourself.

If the planet is your concern, abortion comes later. Before that you are a part of the excess population. Kill yourself.

Much before China’s draconian one-child policy, there is a long history of population control.

Tyrene White in her book China’s Longest Campaign: Birth Planning in the People’s Republic, 1949-2005

draws on a wealth of diverse data from the political literature relating to internal reforms (principally rural economic reforms), and to the mass campaigns from the beginning of the 1950s to the end of the 1990s. She brings together numerous local regulations, official circulars, and articles drawn from the Chinese press as well as from journals specialising in questions relating to family planning. Moreover, field notes and observation, and interviews with political leaders, local cadres, and individual citizens provide a finely shaded picture of the application of birth control. Drawing on extracts from interviews and specific cases recounted throughout the book, White draws a picture of the tensions and contradictions of the campaigns launched in the country and the city to restrict the number of births.

Rich studies and analyses of mass sterilisation campaigns are then presented (Chapter 6). The human cost of forced sterilisation and abortion is revealed in detail: White’s argumentation is full of statistics covering the whole country, enriched by interviews carried out mainly in the provinces of Anhui and Hebei. She also shows how implementation of birth control has been limited when provoking serious rebellion in the population. Chapter 7, entitled “Strategies of Resistance,” observes and classifies the various attitudes of the population towards birth control: evasion, collusion, cover-up, confrontation, and accommodation. These forms of resistance show clearly the interaction between the population and local cadres: mediation between society and the state, where each individual chooses his means of survival, resorting to corruption, temporary exile, non–registration, or direct confrontation with the authorities. The author emphasises the importance of a vital instrument: regular massive propaganda campaigns, without which no population control would have been possible. Yet the tragic repercussions of these campaigns are numerous: problems of infanticide, abandonment, and adoption are mentioned, (3) as well as the alarming imbalance in the sex ratio (Chapter 8). White reminds us of the dilemma of abortion practices, in which selective abortion plays a large part. Moreover, the large numbers of unregistered births has increased the ranks of a floating population that more or less evades all forms of control and causes the government anxiety over the future of the country.

via Tyrene White, China’s Longest Campaign: Birth Planning in the People’s Republic, 1949-2005.

If people are your problem, start by killing yourself.

If people are your problem, start by killing yourself.

Before closing this topic, it is a good idea to look at the background.

The report by the China Development Research Foundation comes amid mounting speculation that Beijing may be preparing to introduce reforms to the 32-year-old policy after annual population growth fell to 0.57 per cent from 2000 to 2010, down from 1.07 per cent in the previous decade.

China’s population – the world’s largest at more than 1.3 billion – is heading for negative growth and an ultra-low fertility rate, it said, citing a string of problems caused by a policy intended to end a population explosion that threatened China’s ability to feed its people.

Although Beijing has faced calls for the controversial policy to be relaxed or abandoned, this report received unusual publicity in a sign that it may be more influential.

Many scholars, however, do not expect a swift change to the policy and cite recent instances – such as in the southern city of Shenzhen – where rules have even been tightened.

Family planning officials defend the policy, saying that it has prevented 400 million births and lifted even larger numbers out of poverty in the past three decades.

Some demographers, however, say the time is ripe for change. When the Communist Party implemented the family-planning rules in 1980, it said that in 30 years the problem of rapid population growth would be solved and the road cleared for a different policy.

The leadership has so far expressed a desire to maintain the status quo. Officials have said that no changes are expected until at least 2015.

via One-child policy to hamper economic growth, Chinese think-tank reports | The Australian.

Birth Rates in India and US Remain High; View from 2005.  - Graphic source & credit -

Birth Rates in India and US Remain High; View from 2005. – Graphic source & credit –

The effect of population control is within sight – on the horizon.

China had a fertility rate of 6.2 in the first half of the 1950s; the report puts the current figure at 1.6, down from 1.7 last year. By 2040, China will have a higher percentage of people over 60 years old than the U.S., researchers predict.

“Mainland China has the distinction of being the first major economy to grow old before they grow rich,” said Richard Jackson, director of the Global Aging Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

The population of India is expected to surpass that of China by 2050, according to the report.

By comparison with China, India’s slower pace of development and decline in fertility may help it avoid the potential dilemma wrought by China’s industrial revolution, rapid economic growth and efforts to lower its population, Mr. Jackson says.

“India will have a more gradual and stabilizing transition,” he says.

via U.S. Birth Rates Remain High –

Buffered by strong growth and comfortable financial situation, China’s problems seem academic to many Chinese for now. What is it to live in an aging society?

Ask the Japanese.

US$ 150 Billion FII Inflows: India’s Next 10,000 Businesses

November 2, 2012 2 comments

In the last twenty years some ten thousand Indian business attracted US$150 billion investments. What is India doing to grow the next ten thousand businesses?

Creating the next 10,000 small businesses will secure India's economic future.  |  Cartoon titled Big Bad WalMart By J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register - 12/6/2005 12:00:00 AM; via Cartoon.

Creating the next 10,000 small businesses will secure India’s economic future. | Cartoon titled Big Bad WalMart By J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register – 12/6/2005 12:00:00 AM; via Cartoon.

India’s total forex reserves are now around US$300 billion. Simplistically, one could claim that half of this was contributed by investments in Indian businesses by foreign investors who seeks to share profits – without aiming for control.

Even as foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have crossed the $150-billion mark in net investments in Indian stocks over the past two decades, domestic investors are concerned about the markets’ dependence on foreign money.

According to the data published by capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), FIIs have had a net investment of $152 billion till October 30. In October alone, FIIs put in $3.5 billion, which took the total value above the $150-billion mark.

Sebi’s data since November 1992 show FIIs have made $119.6 billion of net investment in equity and $32.4 billion in debt through stock exchanges, primary investments or other routes.

According to the regulator’s records, there are 1,751 registered FIIs in India. Sensex, the benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, has risen to 18,415 from 2,929 in this period.

via FII inflows top the $150-bn mark in India – (Links supplied).

Small business - over-regulated and underfunded. |  Cartoon source and credit embedded

Small business – over-regulated and underfunded. | Cartoon source and credit embedded

Between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which is usually accompanied by case-specific exemptions, permissions, policies, rebates, FII seeks simpler systemic and transparent exemptions, permissions, policies, rebates. Indian businesses have attracted FII flows rather easily – and India has always been a laggard in FDI inflows.

Between 1970-1990, India created many small business that needed some capital to become world class. It is mostly these companies that got the US$150 billion. These are about 10,000 companies – mostly listed on the stock exchanges.

India’s main issue is that today the next 10,000 companies that can attract US$150 billion are nowhere in sight.

The Indian Government is busy protecting and fixing older businesses – while next-generation of 10,000 businesses are on no one’s radar.

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